‘90s icon and Hole frontwoman Courtney Love shot to fame during her ill-fated romance with the late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain. The two began dating around 1990 and entered into a dramatic, tumultuous relationship, which climaxed with their shotgun wedding in 1992. The same year, the lovers welcomed their only child, Frances Bean.
However, it wasn’t ‘happily ever after’ for the couple, as only two short years later in 1994 Kurt made the decision to take his life. Courtney continued to struggle in her personal life for years to come, which had inadvertently affected her relationship with her daughter. The singer has been through multiple custody battles, faced eyebrow-raising allegations, and has said and done a lot in regards to her daughter, though the two maintain that they’ve worked out their issues up until this day.
Despite her chaotic upbringing, Frances is currently a successful 26-year old visual artist who mainly chooses to live her life out of the spotlight. While it’s unclear how close Courtney and Frances remain, at least the drama has settled down between them. Read on to learn 20 surprising facts about this mother and daughter’s relationship, and what growing up with Courtney Love was really like.
21 Courtney Threw Frances A “RIP Childhood” Party
Courtney has always had an edgy and dark taste in things. But fans were still dumbstruck when the singer threw a “RIP Childhood” themed soiree for Frances sweet 16 party. The event was meant to celebrate the end of childhood now that Frances was officially a teenager, but many felt the event was in bad taste, especially given how her father’s life had come to an end.
Gawker reports that Courtney spent over $323,000 on the birthday party, which was held at the famous Los Angeles’ House of Blues restaurant. Guests were encouraged to arrive in costumes that matched the spooky theme. Frances herself was wearing a blue dress previously worn by Kurt Cobain at the Reading Festival, while Courtney wore an outfit that had been worn by Angelica Huston in The Addams Family.
20 Courtney Lost Custody When Frances Was A Baby
Courtney and her late partner Kurt Cobain were notorious for their rock n’ roll lifestyle. S Some were concerned their antics were interfering with their ability to be good parents when their daughter was born. This led to the couple famously losing custody of Frances in 1992 when the baby was only a few months old.
After Courtney participated in a compromising cover story with Vanity Fair, which made some eyebrow-raising suggestions, Child Protective Services stepped in over concern about the singer's parenting. Frances was temporarily put under the guardianship of her mother’s sister, Jaimee. After several weeks, Frances was returned to her parents.
19 And Lost Custody Again Over A Decade Later
Courtney’s legal troubles were far from over even in the 2000s. In addition to losing custody of her daughter in 1992, she had another incident over a decade later that led her to temporarily lose guardianship once again.
In February 2003, the singer was banned from Virgin Airlines after disrupting a flight and subsequently getting arrested at Heathrow Airport. In October of the same year, Courtney was arrested again- this time, she’d been caught breaking into the home of her then-boyfriend James Barber’s home. During both incidents, she’d been under the influence.
Immediately after her second arrest, Courtney lost custody of Frances, who temporarily stayed with her paternal Aunts and grandma until the ordeal was resolved. Afterwards, there were various times throughout the years Courtney would seek help at a treatment facility, in which Frances would go back to living with different relatives.
18 Frances’ Grandma And Aunt Eventually Won Custody
After years of switching back and forth between her mother’s care and that of other relatives, guardianship of Frances was finally given to her paternal grandmother and aunt in 2009. France was already 17-years old at the time and had reportedly requested to move in with them permanently until she was a legal adult at age 18.
The judge also issues a temporary restraining order that prevented Courtney from having either direct or indirect contact with her daughter, which was a result of the Hole frontwoman making startling allegations against Frances in response to the legal drama.
Media outlets suggested this ordeal caused a major rift between mother and daughter, though they’ve since publicly said they’ve made a lot of strides in repairing their relationship.
17 Courtney Didn’t Attend Frances’ Wedding
Back in 2015, then-23-year old Frances made headlines for marrying a guy who looked identical to her late father. But that wasn’t the only thing that got her media attention- tabloids were also obsessed with the fact that it appears she didn’t invite her mother to the event. Bad blood, maybe?
A source told E! News that Frances had been planning the small nuptials for a year, with a guest list of only 13-15 people. However, Courtney was allegedly “devastated” that she didn’t make it onto the guest list. "Courtney loves Isaiah but was devastated to learn that Frances had gotten married without her knowing," the source explained. "Courtney really likes Isaiah and is very happy for Frances. Courtney is sad she wasn't at the wedding."
Many fans wondered if there was a rift between mother and daughter at the time that influenced Frances’ decision. But neither of the women have publicly addressed the wedding, so perhaps it's not as big a deal as it appears.
16 Frances Was Upset Courtney Published Her Dad’s Journals
Since Kurt’s passing, fans have been anxious to get their hands on Nirvana mementos in order to understand the troubled rock star even more. Over the years, Courtney has released various items and even journals from Kurt to be displayed in museums and exhibits. But it sounds like Frances wishes her mom would’ve kept such things private.
“I don’t look through his journals. It feels too intimate. I am really regretful that my mom put those out there,” Frances said in an interview with The Independent. “I know it was her way of trying to contribute his personal thoughts and I know that people really want to know that […] What an invasion of privacy, I don’t think it is merited especially since in his art he decided not to put out that thinking.”
15 Courtney Was Upset Frances Turned Down The Lead In “Twilight”
There were sooo many actresses looking t play the role of Bella Swan in Twilight when the news was released the book series was coming to the big screen. But evidently, the producers had a specific girl in mind for the role- Frances Bean!
That’s right, Courtney has since revealed that her daughter was asked to play the iconic role without auditioning at the age of 12. During an interview with Howard Stern, the singer said her daughter felt the role wasn’t empowering enough, which led her to reject the offer.
Frances was also reportedly offered the lead in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, to which she also declined. It sounds like this girl has some serious acting chops, but no interest in getting into the Hollywood biz. And given her parents’ story of fame, we can’t blame her.
14 Frances Claimed Courtney Got Rid Of Her Pets
In the 2009 custody battle between France’s mother and paternal grandma and aunt, some strange allegations made their way to newsstands. One of the most bizarre accusations to catch the media’s attention was Frances’ suggestion that her mother was behind the untimely fates of two of her pets, Rolling Stone reports.
Headlines at the time said one of Frances’ cats had been neglected and left in unsanitary conditions, whereas her dog had mistakenly ingested some of Courtney’s prescription medication. The surprising allegations led the judge to grant Frances a temporary restraining order, which prevented Courtney from contacting her while under the guardianship of her father’s relatives.
13 But Courtney Says It Was A Mountain Lion
In response to such stomach-turning allegations, Courtney had another explanation for what happened to one of Frances’ pets. According to the singer, a mountain lion had attacked her daughter’s cat. “It was a mountain lion that killed Peabody!!!” Courtney tweeted back in 2009 once the headlines began circulating.
Courtney’s lawyer James Janowitz also released a statement saying the accusations were false. “For somebody to meddle in such private and personal matters is pretty reprehensible,” he stated. “We can say that all of the statements made about [Love] relating to the court filings, her daughter and other personal matters is false.”
There's no word on what Courtney thinks happened to the dog...
12 Frances Claims Courtney’s Home Is Always Unliveable
Another one of the allegations that arose during the 2009 custody battle for Frances surrounds the state of Courtney’s home. While no one has ever expected the rocker to be the cleanest and pristine, it sounds like she keeps her homes unliveable.
Court documents showed that Frances claimed her mother’s home was always covered in trash and things sprawled across the floor, Loudwire reports.. The teen admitted she was worried there could be a major house fire since her mother would often fall asleep with a lit cigarette- evidently, this behaviour had already caused several fires in the year prior.
At the same time, Courtney’s former landlord was suing her for unpaid rent and damages, so these accusations don’t seem too far-fetched.
11 Courtney Asked Drew Barrymore To Be The Godmother
If you didn’t already know, it turns out Frances Bean has some very famous Godparents. Back in the ‘90s, Kurt and Courtney were evidently close to actress Drew Barrymore, who was going through a particularly wild time that decade. So, the parents asked her to be the godmother of their daughter, while they asked R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe to be Frances’ godfather.
In 2007, Drew admitted she hadn’t spoken to Courtney or Frances in some time. "Courtney and I have not seen each other in a while, so I haven't had the pleasure of being in Frances's life for a few years. That's a great loss for me, and I hope to reconnect with her,” Drew said, PopSugar reports.
10 Frances Is A Huge Harry Potter Fan
While it’s hard to believe that Frances would have any semblance of a normal childhood given who her parents are, it’s clear the celeb had some pretty normal phases when she was younger. During a 2009 interview with ID magazine, the then-13-year old revealed her huge passion for the Harry Potter series.
“Am I excited? Am I ever! I love the Harry Potter movies. I read all the books in one go when I was nine years old,” Frances revealed when asked about her feelings towards the newest book release. “And I was so excited about the movies and then they came out and, sure, I mean, they're amazing, right?”
9 Courtney Helped Frances Understand Kurt’s Decision
Many fans have wondered how Frances has coped with the difficult legacy of her father. Courtney had evidently tried to explain Kurt’s perspective to their daughter so she could better understand the decisions he made. And, according to a letter Frances posted online in 2015 honouring her late father, it sounds like
“Kurt got to the point where he eventually had to sacrifice every bit of who he was to his art, because the world demanded it of him,” Frances wrote. “I think that was one of the main triggers as to why he felt he didn’t want to be here and everyone would be happier without him. In reality, if he had lived, I would have had a dad. And that would have been an incredible experience.”
8 Frances Had A Lot Of Famous Classmates Growing Up
For the most part, it appeared like Frances was hidden from the spotlight growing up. She bounced back and forth between the care of her mother, grandmother, and aunts, and was largely not photographed in public let alone at A-lister events. But it turns out the celeb was still exposed to the dazzle of Hollywood, given that she was classmates with some famous students.
When speaking with ID Magazine at age 13, Frances opened up about having one of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s daughters in her school. “There is a girl called Tallulah Willis in my school and her mom is Demi Moore,” she explained. “She's a grade younger than I am so I don't hang out with her but we chat sometimes and it's good to have somebody else with a famous mom in school. It doesn't make it so different.”
7 Frances Didn’t Like Kurt’s Documentary “Montage of Heck”
In 2015, the documentary Montage of Heck was released that took an in-depth look into the life and career of the late Kurt Cobain. As she owns the rights to part of his estate, Frances was reportedly very involved with the production of the movie (more so than her mother, too). But in the end, it appears Frances wasn’t happy with the final product.
“That movie ended up being not what I wanted it to be,” she explained to The Independent. “The first half of the movie is really beautiful; the second half, we all ended up hating Kurt. We were all like […] ‘What is wrong with you?’ That wasn’t reflective of what we were trying to convey.” Frances explained her own difficult lifestyle prevented her from being as involved as she wanted to be.
6 Frances Relied On Courtney After The Documentary
Frances and Courtney’s relationship may have been pretty rocky throughout the years, but the daughter always turns to her mother for support when things get tough. In 2015, Frances told Rolling Stone that her mother was her literal rock after they watched Kurt’s documentary Montage of Heck together.
“My mother held me, cried on me and just said, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,'” she told the magazine about the day they watched a private screening of the doc. “Just kept saying it over and over. But then she said, ‘Do you realize how much your father loved you?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I do.'” Courtney reportedly also apologized to her daughter for all the chaos during her childhood after they watched the film together.
5 Frances Did Musicals In High School
Despite the chaos that comes from being raised by a celebrity parent, Frances still found time to do normal teenage things when she was in high school, like participate in musicals. Courtney has spoken more than once about her daughter’s talent on the stage and, when she was young, Frances even said she’d love to perform on Broadway (though she’s since moved on to graphic design).
“I have been in Fiddler on the Roof and Hair and Grease,” Frances told ID Magazine, adding she’d likely only be famous if it was for Broadway. “I guess if I was going to be famous I would rather be an actress than a singer and really if I was going to be an actress then I would rather be a Broadway actress than a movie actress.” It sounds like she definitely has her parents’ musical talent!
4 Frances Was Never Embarrassed By Courtney’s Style
Courtney had made countless ‘worst dressed lists’ in recent years for her out-there outfits. Many fans feel the singer is trying to dress too young for her age… or like the ‘90s haven’t been over for almost two decades. Some might think that having your mom dress like she’s still in her 20s would be embarrassing, but Frances appears chill about her mom’s style.
During the same interview with ID Magazine, in response to being asked if she’s ever embarrassed by Court’s fashion choices, she replied, “Yeah, sure! [laughs] But not often. You know the funny thing about my mom? That stuff works for her! She can get away with it. So I might say 'dress your age' sometimes, but usually I let her go.”
3 Frances Says She Felt Like A “Fix-It Baby”
Many fans have romanticized the chaotic romance between Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, but it sounds like Frances isn’t impressed by that. Rather, the celeb has admitted to feeling like her parents’ relationship was in jeopardy for some time, and that they only had a baby to try to overcome their problems.
“It was like friends falling in love – I did not expect that. I always knew their relationship was toxic,” Frances told Rolling Stone.“And I don’t promote having a fix-it baby, which is what I was – to fix their problems. But I know from the video footage and letters that I have that Kurt wrote to me, from my mom’s interpretations and my grandmom's experiences – my dad did love me.”
2 Frances Learned What Not To Do From Her Mom
Courtney has made a lot of mistakes along the way, including when it comes to parenting, it seems. But rather than diss her mother in the media, Frances has used every time she’s been asked about her mom’s reputation to highlight the positive in the situation. Namely, Frances said she’s had a lot of lessons about what not to do thanks to her mother.
“I was exceptionally lucky to have Courtney as an example of what not to do. She knows that, and [she] has accounted for it,” Frances told Rolling Stone in 2015. She says the same about her father, adding that time has allowed her to become more understanding of his situation. “It’s changed my perception of who Kurt was. I’m a lot less angry at Kurt. I have more empathy and understanding,” she added.
1 Frances Thinks Courtney Is A “Cool” Mom
Despite the difficulties in their relationship, it sounds like Frances and Courtney still have a pretty strong bond. Although Frances has criticized her mother sometimes through the media (and given Court’s wild antics, who could blame her?), there have also been plenty of times she’s stuck up for her rock n’ roll mama.
“It's really cool, you know? I get to meet everyone I want to and I get quite a lot of attention because of it, you know? I mean, it depends on the situation,” Frances said when asked by ID magazine what it was like having Courtney as a mom. “I have an awesome mom, I really do, but of course it hurts when you see a lot of lies about her in the tabloids and then you think, well, it's not so cool to have a cool mom. I don't read it all. I don't like it. But it can be hurtful. I don't like seeing my mom upset. No one does, right?”